As you consider becoming an Invisalign patient, it’s important to learn how this treatment works, how it will impact your life, and what to expect at every step. Invisalign 101 delivers the most important details, so you understand the reality of wearing clear aligners and living with them. Your certified Invisalign provider at Bethesda Family Dentistry in Bethesda, MD, will fill in all the blanks from there so you always know what’s happening with your teeth and smile.
Invisalign 101: Facts and Figures
Sometimes, Invisalign can feel like a numbers game. There are many digits to keep in mind as you go through this treatment, and honoring them ensures that you will have the best possible smile makeover results.
- 1 year: Invisalign treatment lasts an average of 12 months, but some patients may only need a six-month commitment and others may require longer than a year. Invisalign success is dependent on how well you comply with the rules for wearing the trays and how complex your case is.
- 2 weeks: Each set of aligners are worn for about two weeks. Your Invisalign provider will supply you with a list of when you’re to change to the next set of trays and move the next few teeth and their roots.
- 6 to 8 weeks: Every Invisalign provider is different, but it’s common for checkups to be scheduled every six to eight weeks. That means you only have to see your dentist about every two months so they can review your progress and give you the next several sets of aligners.
- 20 to 22 hours: Daily wear time is a serious thing and the trays must be on your teeth for the bulk of every day. You have a lot of freedom with Invisalign but they should only be removed for meals and cleanings – no more than two to four hours daily.
The Invisalign Timeline
Your dentist takes 3D images and shows you how your new smile will move into alignment and how your teeth will look when Invisalign treatment is complete – this all happens before treatment even begins and this preparation allows your dentist to determine if you are a candidate for one of the following types of Invisalign:
- Wear time: The trays must be worn 20 to 22 hours a day at a minimum. This might feel excessive, but if you had brackets on your teeth, they’d be on there around the clock, so enjoy the few hours of breaks you get for meals and cleanings.
- Invisalign Full: The most common treatment and full mouth alignment where clear aligners are worn on both top and bottom teeth. Wear time lasts from 12 to 18 months on average.
- Invisalign Lite: Corrects minor orthodontic issues like moderate overcrowding, spaces, and other misalignment. About 14 trays are worn for a six- to seven-month treatment time.
- Invisalign Express: Minor spaces or a mild relapse from prior orthodontic treatment or not wearing retainers can be addressed with Express, which only lasts about three to six months.
- Invisalign Teen: Sophisticated technology can correct major malocclusions for teens and still leave room for erupting teeth. This treatment is a year to 18 months, depending on the patient.
Benefits of Invisalign Treatment
Everyone has their personal reasons for being interested in Invisalign, but here are just some of the benefits every patient gets to enjoy:
- Discreet treatment: Clear trays are thin and snug and fit against the teeth in the most unnoticeable way.
- Comfortable aligners: There are no brackets and wires poking the soft tissues of your mouth. The trays are smooth and do not snag the lips or cheeks.
- Confidence boost: You’ll notice a change in the position of your teeth soon after your first few trays have been worn, which will make you feel good about smiling and about yourself.
- Simple to use: Invisalign does all the hard work. You simply need to wear the trays, remove them for meals, and clean your teeth and aligners thoroughly every day.